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Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Blues cup success delights Young

Cardiff Blues captain Jason Spice celebrates

Highlights - Blues 11-5 Northampton

Director of rugby Dai Young said Cardiff Blues' success in reaching the EDF Energy Cup final proved how far the region had developed.

The Blues beat Northampton 11-5 on Saturday to set up a Twickenham showdown with Gloucester, in what will be their first cup final as a region.

"I knew it would be a bumpy road when I took the job," said Young.

"With a better squad we have committed ourselves to the bigger games and taken confidence and belief from that."

Cardiff dominated the first half of the semi-final at Coventry's Ricoh Arena and led 8-0 at half-time following a try from Jason Spice.

Blues showed flair and skill - Young

The Saints fought back with a brilliant response from Joe Ansbro but could not overhaul the Blues.

The final will be the Blues' first as a region and they still have a Heineken Cup quarter-final to come against Toulouse.

"We didn't do well in the Heineken Cup and the other competitions four or five years ago because weren't good enough. You don't have a right to be in finals; you have to earn it," added Young.

"It has not happened as quickly as we would have liked, but we have put real solid foundations in with the academy.

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"The regional concept is better, and the support we are getting is far better."

The Blues' victory ensured an Anglo-Welsh flavour to the final for a fourth consecutive year, but there will be a different name on the trophy after last year's winners Ospreys were beaten 17-0 by Gloucester in the day's first semi-final.

"Personally, I would have liked an all-Welsh final - but now we will fly that Welsh flag at Twickenham."

Saints boss Jim Mallinder was frustrated but proud of his side.

Mallinder proud of Saints display

"I am disappointed for the team to lose a game like that," he said.

"We defended really well because Cardiff have got some big physical threats - but it wasn't our day.

"I am really proud where this team has come from in 18 months. After being relegated and spending a season in the first division, we have come a long way.

"We have improved this year as well and we are moving forward."



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see also
Highlights - Blues 11-5 Northampton
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Blues showed flair and skill - Young
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Tito relieved to progress to EDF final
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Mallinder proud of Saints performance
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Cardiff Blues 11-5 Northampton
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 17-0 Ospreys
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Williams to miss cup semi-final
27 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2008/9
19 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh


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